‘E Pluribus Funk’: Out Of Many, One Album For Grand Funk Railroad

In 1971, one of America’s biggest rock bands adapted a motto from the Grand Seal of the United States.

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Grand Funk ‘E Pluribus Funk’ artwork - Courtesy: UMG
Grand Funk ‘E Pluribus Funk’ artwork - Courtesy: UMG

“E pluribus unum,” Latin for “out of many, one,” is a motto on the Grand Seal of the United States, the seal that is used to authenticate documents by the US government. But on November 15, 1971, that phrase was adapted into the language of one of America’s biggest rock bands, as Grand Funk Railroad released their fifth studio album, E Pluribus Funk.

By this stage in their career, Grand Funk were producing platinum-selling albums for fun, and at an incredibly productive rate. Their fourth LP Survival had been released only seven months earlier, and took just two weeks to go gold, later moving to platinum. The Michigan band’s two albums before that are now both platinum, and E Pluribus Funk wasn’t about to see them lose their magic touch.

The album, overseen in the studio as usual by manager-producer Terry Knight, was of its times in combining straight-ahead rock’n’roll with message songs. Written entirely by frontman Mark Farner, it combined tracks like “Footstompin’ Music” (its most successful single, reaching No.29) and “Upsetter” with protest comments such as “People, Let’s Stop The War” and “Save The Land.”

Footstompin' Music (Remastered 2002)

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When E Pluribus Funk was released, it too only needed two weeks to turn gold. It debuted on the Billboard chart at No.40, in the week that it was picked by the magazine in its “Action Records” section, along with Alice Cooper’s Killer album. A week later, it was No.10, and peaked at No.5. When Billboard reviewed “Footstompin’ Music” as a single, it described the track as a “solid discotheque winner for jukeboxes and top 40.”

Listen to uDiscover Music’s Rock This Way playlist.

Grand Funk marked the album release with their second tour of Europe, beginning in early December in Copenhagen. The ten-date itinerary included the first live rock show to be staged at the Palais de Sport in Lyon. Pluribus was eventually certified platinum by the RIAA in 1991.

Buy or stream E Pluribus Funk.



  1. Tpmmye Hazel

    September 26, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    great music

  2. Funk4all

    April 16, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    Best hard rocke album of 70$ top 5

  3. Robert

    December 24, 2018 at 3:18 pm

    The first time I danced with a girl in Highschool, it was to #8 on this album. Has been one of my favorites ever since. Along with many others from Grand Funk Railroad.

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